Comparison of a Hand-held Nebulizer with a Metered Dose Inhaler-Spacer Combination in Acute Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (2)

The air compressor needed to power the HHN is expensive, bulky, and requires an external power source that limits the portability of this device. Hand-held wet nebulizers pose an additional risk of nosocomial infection. In hospitalized patients, HHN treatments are administered by a respiratory therapist or nurse. The need for specialized personnel adds to the expense of the treatment and places the patient in a psychologically dependent situation where he cannot always have the treatment exactly when he requires it.
A spacer is an auxiliary reservoir device that can be fitted to the MDI. Spacers are available in various sizes and shapes. The aerosol can be activated into the reservoir and inhaled by the patient without regard to hand-lung coordination. Unlike HHN, MDI-spacer-administered treatments require only 5 minutes and in most cases can be administered by the patient himself.
This study was designed to compare the efficacy of bronchodilator medication delivered by HHN to that delivered by MDI attached to a spacer device, in the therapy of patients with acute bronchospasm. If therapy with the MDI-spacer is as effective as therapy with the HHN aerosol method, then patients can receive effective, self-administered bronchodilator treatments with more economical use of hospital staff.